The Desert Speaks

For the LORD’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
“He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him, He instructed him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.
Deuteronomy 32:9,10

Monday was a tough day……It was a day where months, actually years of stress caught up and culminated in words that have been bottled up far too long. It had to be said……and she had to get out. So we went…..fast. Destination: Anywhere but there. Caregivers of the very demanding understand this need to escape.

Who knows whether the words stuck. They were probably forgotten within 10 minutes.That is the thing with Alzheimers, you never know what sticks and what doesn’t. She is not at the stage where she would be in danger alone……yet, although that will come. So we went.

No one tells you. The rules change daily. What is okay one day is met with anger and denial the next. A day trip was necessary, crucial…..sanity was precariously balanced on the edge of a very fine line.

Grabbing my camera I said, “Let’s go to Globe, they have old buildings and it’s not too far away.”

And God gave one of His unexpected little surprises, well actually two. A call came on her cell while we were driving around……cousin Sandra, two states away. A welcome voice from someone who understands the situation and everyone involved. Healing balm for a hurting heart.

Driving along I saw some pretty plants and a sign that said, “Botanical Gardens.” We stopped and found a neat surprise there, a place called  Besh Ba Gowah “Place of Metal” Archaeological Park. The name is referring to the mining that took place there. It was an old Salado pueblo ruins that had been excavated and partially reconstructed.

We paid our 4 dollars and were invited to watch the 15 minute video, which we skipped. My camera was itching in my hands….God gave a gift……Sometimes He speaks in desert blooms. It was like He was saying……….”This is for you………”

and so is this……..

This one reminded me of a fire-cracker…..

As we walked through, we heard the Spirit speak in birdsong…..saw the glory of Him in the blooms that even thorns do not prevent…..
heard His whisper on the breeze,
Telling us all the while that He loved us and longed to give us rest……
In His Presence……
it was very good.
Thank you, my friend. I am so glad you insisted we get away.
You knew how much I wanted a camera day.  
It was one of those God things that it turned out like it did.

News from my little corner

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4
What’s going on in your little corner of the world? No doubt many things. Someone may ask you how you are, and you reply……”Fine.” But you know you aren’t. You know when someone is asking in passing….that they don’t really want to know. But then there are those that when they ask, they look into your eyes and you know…..you really know, they really do care.
Sometimes all it takes is just the right person to ask and the dam breaks.
We all have things going on in our lives. Sometimes it really helps to hear about other’s struggles and joys. It gets our mind off ourselves. So what is going on in your corner? Here is a little snippet of what is going on in mine:
An answered prayer from yesterday……My brother had a good talk with his boss, with whom he has had a very hard time lately. The talk was fruitful and ended well.
Old computer went where old computers go when they die. New computer came yesterday and now we have a HUGE monitor and very fast Internet. WOW, I must force myself to stay off of it!
Car went in to shop and what was supposed to be free warranty work turned into a broken belt which will cost over $500.00 count it all joy! I have a credit card I can use! All in all, it was a day that was a blessing. Elaine went with me and we made a day of it! As full time caregiver, she enjoyed the day of freedom and I am glad she spent it with me.
I am enjoying my new camera, though each day I learn more of what I don’t know about the technical aspects of photography. I am also struggling with the Canon computer software. Got it to work last night, but all the pictures ended up on my desktop. I guess I saved it there inadvertantly??? I don’t remember saving them there!
Elaine’s garden is doing well. It is yielding fresh spinach like mad, and the tomatoes are exploding. Okra is coming up and so is the squash. I cooked a mountain of spinach night before last, and though a whole kettle didn’t yield much, it was delicious! We also enjoyed some of our generous neighbor’s home grown zucchini last night. Thanks, Bob and Eileen for sharing!
This morning as I made my way across the parking lot at work, the cat who I feed regularly as part of our spay and neuter program at Intel was meowing at me from under a shrub. She was very scared and upset. Her feeding station is all the way on the other side of the building. And it is a big factory. The landscapers must have been here. I have no idea how to get her back to where she belongs. I must leave her to her own cat resourcefulness in getting there.
Most of all, I continue to rejoice in God our Savior, for ” in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” I can’t imagine walking through life without His help!
Enough about me……..How are things in your corner of the world? Please drop me a line or send me a prayer request and I will be happy to pray for you.

Wading through Job……

“A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it. Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on people, fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake. A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end. It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice: Job 4:12-16

I wonder, what would the ancient trees of Gethsemane tell us if they could talk………there are whisperings there I believe even now, sometimes I imagine how it would be there in the twilight of evening. There where Jesus prayed, disciples dreamed in slumber, Angels comforted, and Satan hovered over it all.
And when it was all over…..Jesus rose again, spirit, body, soul…..death was swallowed up in victory

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54

I am wading through Job now. I am going slow so that I don’t miss anything. I have read it and listened to it many times, but I somehow missed this verse. It reminded me of something out of Charles Dickens and the Ghost of Christmas past. Sometimes the Bible surprises me…..

Lesson by the sea

That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea………
……..And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach. And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
“Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:1-9
If you have ever planted a garden, you know the importance of getting all the elements right. Way before you plant the seed, you meticulously mix the soil. You add everything you think it needs, just the right balance of every chemical component you can think of that might help turn seeds into plants. You plant the seeds…..you water, you pray for sun, then rain, you go out every morning and if you are like my friend, you speak encouraging words to them….
Then, magically the first green shoot appears and you feel an exultant joy, you are the proud parent of a little sprout! They really do begin to feel a bit like your children! But here is what every farmer or gardener knows. Sometimes no matter what you do, they don’t make it. I know this feeling of helplessness. I recently babysat some little sprouts while the master gardener was gone. I took it personally when some of them died. I asked myself, “What did I do wrong?’ “What could I have done to save them?”  
Sometimes we beat ourselves up because we think we could have done more, said something different, but the truth is, we can only lead them to the living water, we can’t make them drink.
There is not one thing more Jesus can do to save us. I think when He went out into the wilderness for that forty day test, He was thinking of us. He was already praying for those who would accept His message joyfully, but He also knew not everyone would.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.’ The Message

all photos from publicdomainpictures.net

My walk in the woods


July in the desert and everyone is dreaming of the cool breezes that left in early May….heat is everywhere and there is no escaping it. I go out to pray and my mind tells me 6:00 should be bearable, but its not.

My mind wanders, I pace inside like a caged animal.
I go to the secret place where He resides, My own Living water that springs eternal.

Lord, I ache for green, and air that carries the scent of pine, and the spray of surf pounding on the shore. Be my walk in the woods, the little stream that I long to sit by and write, my thoughts and the ones you give me….

Be that porch that I dream of, the one with three steps up…..surrounded by hydrangeas of violet and blue, and the wind chimes gently revealing Your wind, Your voice.

I am in another garden today, the one that resides in the Spring of His Word. I am there watching green leaves toss against a canopy of blue from a hammock that swings in the playful air.

My heart is greatly refreshed.

A bird calls and another answers across the yard and I am filled with the peace that passes understanding.
Help me remember God, that You are always more than enough. Help me to remember, like Paul to be grateful for chains, and help me to remember also that my small chains of inconvenience are nothing compared to the chains that bind others.

None of them are any match for Your strength!

Thank You for being more than I can ever ask or think.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12,13

Meeting God in a garden


“Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth.” — Dorothy Frances Gurney

It is good to be able to find a quiet corner of the yard in the mornings. I used to do this when I had a garden and I miss it. I would go and the outdoor stray cat would follow me, her white patches turning blissfully brown as she gleefully rolled in the freshly tilled earth. She was happy to share her territory with me.

Sometimes I felt I could actually hear the plants grow, reaching for the sun. If I got very close, at eye level with the plants I was aware of a whole new universe. I would see the dew drops, and the small bugs crawling in their world, unaware of me and the bigger world surrounding them.

God placed us here lovingly and called it good long ago….

I keenly felt a closeness with my Grandparents there, I have heard all their stories, them trying to scratch out a living from the hard North Dakota soil. How they came home one day to a flash flood, my Grandma desperately gathering chicks up in her apron and bringing them in to try and save them. Tunnels from the house to the barn in the bitter cold of winter so that my Grandpa and Aunt could milk the cows….And saying goodbye to all their animals, each one named, when they left for a better life in California.

They left behind a little grave holding their child Annie, fatally shot by a foster child at aged two. The boy ran away and they never found him. I can’t imagine their sorrow. They made it out West, not without difficulty. They started over, pressed on and made a very good life. And their gardens always flourished

They have been reunited with their Annie for many years now, but I remember by being here with them in my quiet moments, I honor their memory and press on…..

“Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” Genesis 2:8

Eternity in our hearts

Stairway at Butchart Gardens

Living with eternity always in mind changes our perspective on everything else that happens in this life. This is the great challenge, to keep this fixed always in the backdrop of our hearts and minds. In this way, nothing can totally devastate us as it would if we didn’t have this hope.

Everything around us, however difficult or bleak the circumstance may be, continues to be colored with this one idea, this one thought. This is not all there is….. Sometimes we feel as if we have one foot in this world and one in the next and we feel the weight of it when life gets to be too much. Some would say that living like that would taint this life, as someone who goes around with one ear closed, half paying attention to everything around them, but really it turns the volume up. Everything somehow seems more brilliant, more vibrant and alive, like a deaf or blind person who has just got their senses for the first time.

Paul felt the weight of eternity too……

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; Philippians 1:21-23

There is no going around it. We will constantly seek more in this life, because we know instinctively that there is more….He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

What do you think? Does knowing we have eternity make you sometimes want to give up on this life? Or does it make it easier to go on?